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Yoga guru told to shelve his ‘cure’ for COVID-19 while Indian govt investigates

A yoga guru and CEO of a multi-billion Ayurvedic company has created an uproar in India for trying to sell what he says is a cure for the new coronavirus.

Baba Ramdev has claimed his company Patanjali Ayurved has developed the first Ayurvedic-clinically controlled medicine for COVID-19.  

“We conducted a clinical case study and clinical controlled trial and found 69 percent of patients recovered in three days and 100 percent patients recovered in seven days,” Ramdev told media reported the Hindustan Times.

Ramdev further claimed that the controlled clinical trials for the medicine was jointly conducted by privately-run Patanjali Research Institute and state-run National Institute of Medical Sciences, Jaipur.

His company launched “Coronil” and “Swasari” on June 23 as a cure for COVID-19 and they were made available for purchase. Patanjali Ayurved products sell through nearly 4,700 retail outlets across India.

An outcry has developed over his claims because he hasn’t got the proper approval to sell either “Coronil” or “Swasari”.

His claims about the two products have met doubt, skepticism and even a criminal complaint has been filed in a court in the state of Bihar.

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“All of a sudden we have a guru who comes out with some strange stuff packed in a white plastic container as a cure for the new coronavirus. All this is extremely bizarre,” said Yasir Ahmad, a research scholar in microbiology at Indira Gandhi University, Delhi.

Meanwhile India’s pro-Hindu Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) government has welcomed Ramdev’s efforts but added his products need to follow usual procedures for approvals.

“It is a good thing that Baba Ramdev has given a new medicine to the country but as per rules, it has to come to the Ayush Ministry first. They even said that they have sent a report. We’ll look into it and permission will be given after seeing the report,” said Shripad Naik, India’s federal minister.

The government stated on June 25 that it will soon decide whether or not to give Ramdev permission to sell his two supposed medicines. 

Patanjali Ayurved has now also been asked to withhold its sales and advertising of the products.

A spokesman from the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (Ayush Ministry) has said Patanjali Ayurved has been asked to provide the details of the composition of the products and on how they were researched and formulated.

As of June 26, the new coronavirus has killed more than 15,000 people in India and infected more than 490,000.

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